"The Jack London of South America"

He was born in the southern Chilean island of Chiloé. Among his most famous works (translated into English, French, Italian, Greek, German, Polish and Dutch) are: "La Tierra del Fuego se Apagó" (Tierra del Fuego Has Burnt Out, 1945), "Golfo de Penas" (Gulf of Sorrow, 1957), "El Camino de la Ballena" (The Whale's Path, 1962), "El Guanaco Blanco" (The White Guanaco, 1980), and "El Corazón del Témpano" (The Heart of the Iceberg, 1991).

Coloane was awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura (Chilean National Prize for Literature) in 1964. In 1997, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Republic, where he won considerable notoriety for his work in the 1990s.

Coloane was an active member of the Communist Party of Chile for most of his adult life, and a lover of nature who celebrated his 89th birthday by swimming in the freezing waters of the Pacific Ocean - which in his opinion kept him “vital and active”.